Supplies and Equipment – Scraping, sanding, and stripping tools and supplies; patching compound; power washer rental; primer; caulk; masking supplies; painters’ tape; ladders and scaffolding; paint pans; brushes, sprayers, and roller brushes all cost money, even if you do it yourself. Consider all of those tools and equipment sitting in your garage for the rest of your life vs. paying an experienced painter to do it all for you at a price that saves you weeks of time. Expect to pay $5–$6 per 100 sq. ft. for supplies and materials.
It's up to you. Outside is much harder because it requires more prep, patience, time, help, money and of course, effort. I have been painting my own houses and rental properties interiors for 20 years, and I painted the exterior of one, once. I then had it promptly done again by professionals who said it would have been cheaper if they didn't have to undo my work first. My advice is to get pros for the outside because everyone will see it.
Some basic interior paints are sold in bulk, often in neutral colors such as white or beige. These can be very economical if the home’s color scheme is not a major consideration. However, many homeowners prefer to apply customized colors to match the furnishings or create a specific ambience for each room. Because of advancements in the industry, many manufacturers now offer a dizzying array of colors, from cool pastels to bold metallics.
Your homeowner’s association might limit you as to how unique you can be with your exterior paint choices. Check with them first to make sure you don’t have to redo your hot-pink-plus-unicorns murals. It can help to drive around your neighborhood to see what your neighbors have chosen and come up with a color scheme that fits in. If you’re not sure, stores can give you small cans of paint so you can paint patches of color in discrete parts of the exterior to see how they look before purchase.
High-gloss paint is the most durable and easiest to clean of all paint sheens. It's ultra-shiny, light-reflective, and hard (think appliance-paint tough). High-glass paint has too much shine for interior walls; you'd find the reflections and drywall flaws distracting. It is a good choice for areas that sticky fingers touch, though, such as cabinets, trim, and doors.
Paint supplies cost anywhere from $10 to $100 or more depending on what you need. Painters will typically provide most of the supplies for a project, but sometimes they will allow you to pay for solely labor if you provide all the materials yourself. You might decide to do a DIY paint job down the road. In which case having these supplies on-hand will save you time and money.
Containing either natural oils or a synthetic alkylate, oil-based paints are more durable than latex paints. Oil-based paints should be used on surfaces where you want the finish to last for a long time. While this kind of paint has a stronger odor and takes longer to dry, its durability is unmatchable. The strength of oil-based paints makes them a great choice for moldings and trims.
If you are painting for a client, skip the paint in the bucket, and use large trays. For faster completion and still quality results the 5 gallon bucket and strainer work great as well as a wood filler, 5-in-1 tool, screw gun (drill), metal joint compound tray, metal putty knife, wide drywall knife, mini hand-held paint containers (for brushes), and a mini-roller and corresponding nap (for edging, after cutting in with brush on the bottom, top and sides of wall, and the sides of ceilings, so that you don't see brush lines).
Compare offers. The painter offering the lowest rate may not always be the best painter for the job. Indeed, the total cost isn't the only factor to consider when choosing between multiple bids. You'll want to look at contracts side by side to ensure you're making an apples-to-apples comparison. Are the same materials being used? Are the same services included? Does the painter provide a warranty?
If you are seeking a few gallons of interior house paint for your home, office, or apartment, read our helpful shopping guide. We have compared dozens of brands of interior house paints currently on the market and have compiled a short list of our favorites. Topping that list is Benjamin Moore Ultra Spec 500 Interior Paint, a low-odor, VOC-free formula from one of the most trusted brands in paint.
Summer is the busiest time of the year for painters, with some booked up to six months ahead of time, so book well in advance. Homebuyers getting VA loans have run into difficulties with this, so if you’re getting a VA renovation/rehabilitation loan, get all your painting and inspection estimates and work dates booked before you fill out any paperwork with a closing date, or the house will not be move-in ready in time.
Painting interior walls does not require professional aptitude, but it is still a skill that arrives with a learning curve. The most challenging part of any interior painting project is the prep work, which often involves cleaning the walls, masking off windows, doorways and baseboards, then carefully “cutting in” the paint around the edges. Once the masking and cutting in are finished, volunteers with handheld or roller brushes can usually fill in the rest of the space with little trouble.
One important consideration when comparison shopping for interior paint is the manufacturer’s available palette. One brand of latex paint may be significantly less expensive than others, but the tint options can be limited. There can also be a noticeable difference between one manufacturer’s “midnight blue” and another’s “Prussian blue.” There is no universal standard, so this is why sample cards and test paints are so important.
Begin prepping your walls by removing any outlet covers or lighting fixtures (if possible). Next, inspect your walls for any defects. If you encounter cracks, dents, or holes in your walls, simply fill them in with caulk or spackling compound. There are also a number of DIY tips to fill nail holes. Once your repairs dry, smooth them down with sandpaper and wipe the walls down with a damp sponge.

It’ll cost anywhere from $200 to $6,000 to hire a painter. Expect small jobs, like kitchen cabinets or trim, to run $200 to $2,000. Larger projects, like your home’s exterior, range from $1,000 to $6,000. To estimate your needs, figure paying $2 to $6 per square foot or $20 to $50 per hour. Actual costs vary considerably depending on coverage area, type of work and regional cost of living differences.


Whether you decide to do the preparation work yourself or have a professional do it as part of your project, proper preparation makes all the difference in creating a smooth and lasting finish. Do it correctly the first time or you’ll quickly end up spending more to fix peeling and chipping paint. Follow this process before starting on your home's exterior. Keep in mind that the process may vary based on your siding materials:
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